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Avatar universal

12 year old daughter

My daughter only has a bowel movement once every 2 - 3 weeks and when she does it's HUGE!! When I say huge , I mean at least 5 inches in diameter, sometimes nealy a foot long. I have told her she is not alowed to flush the toilet because it will definatly block it and I have to take a wire hanger and cut the poop up! And it's HARD and dark and REALLY stinky. She has had this problem for years but I have only recently noticed how bad it has become because we have moved house and apparenly out toilet isn't as well equipt to deal with this as our old one was!! When she was two she had gastroenteritis and for a few years after that she had diarrhea and couldn't have dairy products at all! As she got older her systom seemed to recover and she was able to have milk, cheese and yogurt again but having had her diet restricted for so long she became a very picky eater. Now its almost impossible to get her to change her eating habits. She eats reasonably well, fruit, tuna, chicken and occasionally beef but only small amounts and she really 'refuses to eat vegetables. Given the choice between trying something new or eating veg with her meal OR missing a meal, she would just not eat. She looks healthy, has fantastic hair and strong nails, is tall and slender and has good skin. Apart from the bowls she seems in perfect working order! But the pain from such large stools and the toxicity of carrying that waste all that time makes her tired and grumpy and nauseous.
I haev also had problems with my guts, I was constipated a lot as a child and in my early 20's had infectious ulcerative colitis and have really suffered with that on and off ever since. I had all kinds of tests but when I had a barium enima done the doctor said I had an incredibly long colon, almost three times longer than average, which could contibute to my stools becoming overly dry and therefor constipation. Could this be heriditory? Apparently my mother and her father also had a long history of gut problems too.
How can I help spare my daughter from this uncompfortable probem?
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Avatar universal
Wow,  I never thought of wheat!!  My dog has problems digesting it so i changed his food,  but I never thought about how much of it I consume myself,  and its impact on my own body!! I've also been forcing myself to drink fluids during the day, as i generally have a small appetite and I know I barely drink what I need to,  its rough when you have no desire to... As for your daughter, I think as she feels better, she'll want to eat more, just explain that the foods you want her to eat will help her feel good. Personally, my parents started not telling me what was in certain foods (like garlic, i hate garlic if i know its there!) and I eventually got used to eating it. I'm still picky but I'm getting better,  I hope things get better for you and your daughter,  please keep us posted! :]
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Avatar universal
See my comments to Nadia25 on this forum.
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Avatar universal
I was chronically constipated for most of my life, painfully so. Only as a young woman in my mid 20's did I seek to do everything I could to help myself, including  a cleansing diet and eating only those things that aid digestion until my bowels would function again. It took some time to totally stop the frequent enemas I had become dependent on. I bet there was some diagnosis for what was going on with me, but that was before the popularity of the colonoscopy, though I did have some later in life. Docs just kept giving me stool softeners ( which can make things worse if not drinking enough).

Please have a long talk with your daughter about her health. She's old enough to take some initiative to do some things to help herself as you try to find answers. It may be her bowels will need retrained, and maybe even need to force the issue of regular bowel movements until retrained. (Of course, talk to her doctor about that before giving her anything.)

The bowel wall is muscle, and when those muscles are chronically distended they lose tone. In extreme cases it can lead to a catatonic colon, or one that no longer is capable of functioning. When working in a hospital, I saw a teen girl come in for a bowel resection to have a catatonic segment of her bowel with impaction removed in hopes of restoring normal bowel function.

The longer she continues like this, the greater the opportunity of that happening. I think you are on target with pursuing answers for her.

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277836 tn?1359666174
We have the same problem with our 12 yr old not as bad as yours though
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Avatar universal
Thanks for the suggestion, I will try it!
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Avatar universal
I understand the embarassment factor - believe me!! I hope that you will talk to your doctor about your problem, I manage mine by really monitoring everything I eat, drinking soy milk and LOTS of water! Also I use flax seed on any cereal I eat and stay away from wheat products! A real breakthrough for me came when I discovered Spelt bread, which I can eat with no bad reactions! I'm hoping my daughter won't have to go as far as I have and that I can somehow get her to eat some of the things that will help her! Thank you for your time, it's good to have a sounding board to bounce questions off of, even when I might already know the answers!!!
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Avatar universal
Thank you for your reply, it's refreshing to hear something other than she should eat better or that she'll grow out of it!
Do you have any suggestions for how I can get her to eat new foods? She really won't eat a lot of things and I simply can't force her!!!
I will try the benefibre as someone else suggested but I am concerned that it might make the problem worse!
Helpful - 0
563773 tn?1374246539
MEDICAL PROFESSIONAL
Hello,

Your daughter is having severe constipation. Severe constipation is defined as less than one bowel movement per week.

Various possibilities are there.Hereditary long colon can be one of them. Constipation can be caused by the slow passage of digesting food through any part of the intestine. More than 95% of the time, however, the slowing occurs in the colon.If it is long,it can cause constipation.

Other causes are suppression of the urge to defecate,diet low in fiber, over-use of stimulant laxatives (e.g., senna, castor oil, and certain herbs), hypothyroidism and hyperparathyroidism(by raising the calcium levels in the blood), intestinal pseudo-obstruction, Hirschsprung's disease, Chagas disease,colon inertia(nerves and/or muscles of the colon do not work normally) and pelvic floor dysfunction(the muscles of the lower pelvis that surround the rectum (the pelvic floor muscles) do not work normally).

Increase the fiber amount in her diet. The best natural sources of fiber are fruits, vegetables, and whole grains.If still the symptoms persist then pls consult a gastroenterologist and discuss these possibilities.

Hope it helps.Take care and pls do keep me posted on how your daughter is doing.
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277836 tn?1359666174
Increase her fiber intake this will help try benefiber she wont even taste it
Also try the fiber one yogurts
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Avatar universal
You know,  when I was that age and younger,  I was having the same sort of problems,only not as severe as that, and I've spent most of my life in discomfort. Apart from my bowels, I'm completely healthy as well I would say,   and when I think about it,  my own mother has digestive problems as well and they could be hereditary! It seems possible....Anyway all my idoit dr at the time gave me was mineral oil, and it was brushed off as nothing!  I hope you figure this out and please dont give up finding out whats going on here, I really wish my parents had gone further, cuz i spent most of high school embarassed uncomfortable and unhappy because of this. I am only now ready to ask my doctor about it.
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